We read today that genetics plays a big role in what diseases we could get but scientists are beginning to see that environment is a much bigger predictor than genetics. According to the AARP Magazine, scientist David Servan-Schreiber estimates that genetic factors contribute to only 15% of our overall cancer risk. The other 85% is our food, exercise (or lack of it), stress levels and overall lifestyle choices.
While it will be hard for me to give up my cookies and cakes, I am happy that my wine and chocolate consumption has a medicinal benefit. Some of what David said surprised me. Here are David's list of cancer fighter behaviors that help us live a much healthier life:
1. Here is something that makes my heart palpatate - Sugar fuels cancer growth and triggers inflammation. David says avoid refined sugar wherever it lurks - even in less top-of-mind foods such as sodas and ketchup, Also avoid white flour which turns into sugar in the body.
2. Eat foods that fight cancer - Herbs and Spices like thyme, rosemary, mint, basil, sage, tumeric and ginger. Foods Rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, walnuts, green vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. Garlic, onions, leeks. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. Dark chocolate. Beverages such as green tea, pomegranate juice and even red wine in moderation.
3. Exercise can help stave off cancer. Regular walking such as 30 minutes six times a week can help in the recuperation of breast cancer for example.
4. Stress weakens your immune system so find ways to reduce or manage your stress. Try meditation or yoga to help you process stress more beneficially.
5. Remove common household toxins. This really gave me pause - Substances that can impair your body's cancer fighting abilities include certain preservatives in cosmetics (parabens and phthalates). Teflon released from scrtached pans (toss 'em!). Percholorethylene from dry cleaning. Gases given off from by new polyvinyl chloride products such as some home repair items like pipes. Bisphenol A from water heated in hard plastics.
It is never too late to revise your diet, exercise and general health regimes. Try some of these best selling books to help you make the best changes for you: